Steps to Take after an 18 Wheeler / Tractor Trailer Accident in TexasBy Stewart J. Guss on December 30th, 2013
Tractor trailers, or “18 Wheeler” trucks are an important part of our national economy, transporting millions of tons of freight from state to state each year. While these vehicles are essential, they also pose a significant risk of serious injury to other motorists when they are involved accidents. Truck accident cases are often more complicated than other motor vehicle accidents due to the many federal and state regulations that apply to commercial vehicles. As a result, the best way for victims of semi-truck accidents to ensure that they receive the compensation that they deserve is to retain an attorney who understands how to handle tractor trailer accident cases.
Houston and southeast Texas are particularly susceptible to the dangers of tractor trailer accidents because many trucking routes from Mexico come up through Houston. Since NAFTA was enacted in the early 1990s, cross border trucking has become increasingly common. Anyone driving on the streets of Houston is well aware of the number of commercial vehicles driving on our highways. Unfortunately, those originating from Mexico may be not subject to the same safety and regulatory scrutiny as domestic carriers.
After being involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler, you may be confused and disoriented, as well as unsure of what to do next. Unfortunately, the things you say and do immediately following an accident may be determinative of whether or not you will be able to recover for your injuries or any other losses you sustained. After calling 911 for the police and ambulance (if anyone is injured), some of the steps that truck accident victims should take following an accident include:
- Document Relevant Facts – As in any personal injury case, the specific facts of your accident are extremely important to establishing legal liability. Facts that will likely be relevant include the name of the drivers involved in the accident, the company responsible for the operation of the truck, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, the speed you were traveling, as well any other conditions that you believe may have contributed to the accident. Take photographs of the scene of the accident if possible, and also try to obtain contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
- Seek medical attention – After an accident, it is imperative that you seek medical attention from a trained professional. Even if you are not transported from the scene via ambulance, you should be checked out at an emergency room immediately if there are any signs of injury. Some injuries may take hours or even days to develop symptoms, and having them diagnosed early can be extremely helpful in establishing that they were caused by your accident.
- Consult with an attorney – Retain legal representation as soon as possible. Trucking companies have knowledgeable attorneys that work hard to limit their legal liability after an accident. In addition, insurance companies often will almost always attempt to settle with victims for much less than their claim is worth. Hiring an attorney who understands how to handle trucking accidents is the best way to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Houston trucking accident attorney today for a free consultation.
Truck accident victims and their families may be eligible to receive significant compensation for their injuries. Houston trucking accident injury attorney Stewart Guss has been representing folks in Houston, Cypress, Tomball, Katy, The Woodlands, Spring and all over Texas after a truck accident. Call 800-898-4877 right now to schedule a free consultation with Stewart. Remember, the consultation is free and there is no charge unless he wins your case.